Why the boom in cycle-rail journeys?
Despite what some critics may say journeys made by rail with a cycle is rapidly becoming the UK’s biggest cycle success stories. In 2015 there were more than 50 million rail journeys with a cycle – an increase of around 40% since 2010.
So LCC wanted to get to grips with what has changed that has seen the surge in cycle-rail journeys? It could be that to meet passenger demand, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Network Rail and train operators are working harder to improve cycle facilities and information, along with the government and local authorities.
Initiatives such as PlusBike have made cycle-rail travel easier than ever for commuters and adventurers! PlusBike are a sort of one-stop shop for information to help people plan and make easier combined cycle and rail journeys. They offer information about cycle facilities at stations, cycle carriage rules, reservation details and local cycle-hire availability through the National Rail mobile app and website.
We chatted to a spokesperson at PlusBike who told us that they are “working hard to improve services to meet the growing demand for cycle-rail journeys, and we listen to what passengers and groups tell us about their experiences of travelling by train with a cycle. One of these is the need for better information. That’s why we’ve worked with train operators to develop PlusBike, which launched in January 2015.”
“PlusBike allows us to provide helpful and easy to understand and accessible information, with a view to improving customer experience and door-to-door journeys.” says Sarbjeet. “Satisfaction among PlusBike users is extremely high at 89%, and we want more people to be aware of the service so that even more people can discover how easy it is to travel by rail with a cycle.”
Despite the core of cycle-rail users being predominantly daily commuters, PlusBike is mainly targeted at the leisure users and those making new and unfamiliar journeys. LCC welcome the service and we hope that if it's easier to travel with a bike, more people will get cycling!